U.S. Catholics face shortage of priests

priest-churchThe following comes from a May 25 story in USA Today.

Nationally, one in five Catholic parishes does not have a resident priest.

America’s Catholic population is rising by 1 percent annually, but seminary enrollment is flat. An inadequate supply of priests already has forced hundreds of parishes to close or consolidate.

Priests aren’t getting any younger, either. Their average age is 63.

Something’s got to give.

“These people have served the church for 30, 40 or 50 years, and now they are retiring or dying and leaving the priesthood,” said Mary Gautier, senior research associate with Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

In the Diocese of Venice, Fla., though, Bishop Frank Dewane is sitting comfortably for the 59 parishes from Bradenton to Marco Island. Dewane has 111 diocesan priests under his authority, along with 60 priests supplied by religious orders. Additionally, between 10 and 70 outside priests, who often are retirees from parishes up North, assist the diocese on a seasonal or part-time basis.

Dewane’s focus isn’t covering next Sunday’s Mass; he is charged with building the next generation of religious leaders.

“We’re blessed right now, but we always have to look at where are we in, say, 25 years or 50 years out,” Dewane said.

In 1975, there were 58,909 priests in the United States. Today, Georgetown’s CARA puts the figure at 39,600, a 33 percent drop. Meanwhile, America’s Catholic population rose from 54.5 million to 78.2 million, a 43 percent increase, during the same period.

Although the 39,600 priests seems plenty for America’s 17,413 parishes, it’s not. Presiding over Mass is just one of a priest’s duties, along with hearing confessions, baptizing babies, officiating weddings, counseling parishioners, conducting funerals, teaching schoolchildren, blessing hospital patients, running missions and more. On Easter and Christmas, some parishes in Southwest Florida have a half-dozen or more Masses, often simultaneously on church campuses, to accommodate residents, tourists and seasonal residents….

To read the entire story, click here.





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  1. Please pray for vocations!

  2. Abeca Christian says:

    To question or not to question, that is the question. When Eve questioned “what if I ate from the forbidden fruit”. The doom of humanity had become death and the sacrifice of the Lamb had to exist for the salvation of mankind. All this due to her curiosity and disobedience. When science questions God, it goes as far as questioning his very existence, when people embrace their choices, they go as far as losing their humility and respect for life, greed grows more stronger in their fleshly desires. Attentiveness (charity) and gratitude starts to fade, little by little, a society dyeing once again to the evils of the secular world. I often wonder how far can I go with questioning my Lord? How far will I abuse my freedom that he has given me, how far will I go to allow my sinfulness to rule over me. Intelligence can sometimes destroy or not destroy, but can one still remain humble and meek? I say no, it is true Wisdom and Knowledge given by a greater power than ours, that can enlighten our soul, and save us from our “personal disobedience”. To question or not to question. No, just seek the Power of Love, Love will bring you closer to our Lord’s sacred heart, and the views and powers of the secular world will mean nothing, they have no eternity. All questions will stand only when in truth. Encouraged to question Christ and His church, I dare say not, encouraged to ask “Please Lord teach me your ways, help me to embrace your truths and ways, guide me and lead me, Increase my faith, should I fall in error, I beg your forgiveness almighty one.

    • Local parish leadership needs to shift away from being built around an all-powerful pastor to one where a council of elected lay women and men act as a board partnered over a pastor. This would be a healthy progression and help develop a cadre of lay leaders able to fill the impending void created by a shortage of priests. Such a reform would place more power in the hands of the people instead of one person. It would highlight that God frequently provides valuable insight, wisdom and revelation to ordinary people, not just to the ordained. Recall, Jesus appeared, first and for the poor and ordinary, not the high and mighty.

      • Patricia says:

        NEVER. It is not the job of the Laity to be over the Pastor of a Parish.
        It is the job of the Bishop and His Diocese Priests to run Parishes and teach and supervise the teaching of the Faithful.

        It is the job of the Liaty to be over temporal affairs, not religious ones.
        Read your CCC.
        Too many people do not know their Faith and could introduce error.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          I agree Tracy and Patricia. Patricia you are correct but it is also some the priests who are not teaching the faithful and allowing them to run the parish without overseeing it.

      • NW, what diocese do you live in? Where I live, females largely control the parishes. In many of these parishes your so called “all-powerful” pastor is largely a thing of the past. This is especially true in the parishes which are run by a female parish administrator. 🙁

  3. Father Karl says:

    Please read the book, GOODBYE GOOD MEN. This partially explains the priest shortage. Also, many dioceses have femi-nazi nuns running the vocations department. If a potential seminarian were to be asked what he thought about women priests, and he answered that there could NEVER be any, the nun would black ball him. Also, if the potential candidate where to be sympathetic to the Tridentine Mass, he would never be admitted to a seminary, and if he were a seminarian, he would never be advanced towards the priesthood. The priest vocational crisis is partially caused because the bishops wish to advance women priests, and married priests, so when there was a lack of priests, they could beg Rome to let the laws concerning priests be changed. In the Dallas Diocese, the vicar general had many many married men be ordained deacons, because he believed the celibacy law was soon to be changed, and then the diocese would have many married priests. The conservative dioceses and religious communities are not suffering from a priest shortage because the priesthood and the distinct role of the priest is clearly defined.

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Father Karl. Everything that you have written is true.

    • Fr. Karl, I only recently finished reading “Goodbye Good Men – How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church” by Michael S. Rose (2002). The so called vocational crisis in the country has been purposefully man-made. Mr. Rose uncovered how many orthodox candidates for seminarian programs were weeded out and denied acceptance for something as ‘horrifying’ as opposing women ordination. Those who were accepted but attempted to act like Catholics were harassed and punished for holding to traditional beliefs. The book is depressing to say the least, but what really supports the reality of what Mr. Rose uncovered is the last chapter which documents that the few dioceses along with their seminaries which have always remained orthodox, have never had a shortage of vocations. After reading this book the reader can clearly identify why “protestantism” is so rampant in many of our parishes today.

      For those of you who cannot get your hands on this book, I would at the very least recommend that you read some of the reviews of this book.

      • Anonymous says:

        LIke this one:
        “Well, no…i can’t quite believe it. I attended one of the seminaries featured in the book. I can only speak for myself (and a few other men who were my classmates, whom i talked to, and agree with me, i suppose) when i say that my former seminary was not the way it was portrayed to be. The man who provided the bulk of the information might have experienced or intuited certain things about the faculty and students–i didn’t see any of those things. I think i’m quite conservative and orthodox–i never felt singled out because of it. I happened to attend that seminary for three years–the man interviewed was there for one…so, my experience would seem to be more complete….”
        Every new priest and every current seminarian that I have had the pleasure to hear or hear about is traditional/orthodox/faithful…whatever you want to call them. I think if you believe that book is accurate and current you will be at a terrible disadvantage, now. Totus tuus.

        • Patricia says:

          Anonymous, – Did and does (2014) that Seminary use the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” as one of their required texts?
          (A few do, others don’t.)

          Even Priests can not accurately teach what they do not accurately know.
          Why don’t most of today’s Priests teach about Sin, Heaven, Purgatory and Hell from the pulpit as appropriate (and contained in the CCC) ?
          About the obligations of Parents to teach their children the Faith (not just drop them off at the Church) ?
          etc., etc., etc.,

          • Anonymous says:

            Patricia, you do realize that seminary is like a master’s degree. At that level, while using the CCC is appropriate, they really are studying things much more in depth than is presented in the CCC. As you know, I am sure, a whole book could be written on almost any sentence in the Catechism.
            I do not think there is any priest who does not know about Sin (they hear confessions!) Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. These are basic truths of the Faith that all priests are willing to die to defend.
            Usually like you say, they are mentioned when appropriate. The emphasis is on living life in Christ, living the Gospel and there is not the fire-and-brimstone “You will go to hell if …” stuff. You hear about the sheep and the goats at least once a year, probably more, though.
            I have heard “parents are the first teachers of the Faith, the primary educators of their children” so many times I couldn’t even count them, from both priests and bishops. I don’t know where you go to Church. Parishes do vary. We don’t have ANY social justice stuff at my parish. But we have pro-life, traditional marriage, religious freedom prayers and activities so they just don’t call it social justice (probably because people in our parish associate SJ with no-nuke protests and edible landscaping-it’s a long story and an old one).

      • I was expecting an Anonymous dismissal of my review of Goodbye Good Men. Too this end I was surly not disappointed! Take a look at the 120 reviews of the book on Amazon. Many of these reviews are from those who give their full names and talk about their own experiences while in the seminary. After reading these, then make your own judgement about “Anonymous’s” comments.

        • Ann Malley says:

          What interests me, Tracy, is that Anonymous is so enamored of his/her own experience (and agenda) that his/her experience seems to be all that counts. Everyone else with different experiences, and names, are summarily derided as not current (a high crime) and/or at a ‘terrible’ disadvantage. The only disadvantage being that of having a differing life experience and witness than Anonymous.

          God give us priests.
          God give us *holy* priests.
          God give us many *holy* priests!

          What nonsense.

          • I guess I should explain before it gets taken wrong. Anyone who thinks that having holy priests is nonsense really has no clue about Catholicism.
            Also the petty bickering between posters has gotten out of hand again and they are not obeying the 10 posts a day rule and should at least be rebuked.
            The mocking of other posters goes on way too much but everyone seems too afraid to take on the mean people. When you mock them, you mock Jesus Christ.

          • Ann Malley says:


            Thank you for your post. I was in fact asking God to send us holy priests – something my chapel prays after every mass. The nonsense to which I was referring is the attempt to paint the crisis in the Church as either in the past, not that big of a deal, or simply non-existent. Especially when parishes are being shut down even today.

            Again, sorry if I erred in the formation of my post or stepped over the 10 posts a day rule. And you are spot on about mocking.

    • In order to really prove his thesis that there has a been a church wide conspiracy against the orthodox and the straight, Rose would have to get data from many dioceses, seminaries and religious orders about how many candidates have applied, how many of those have been turned away and what the reasons for dismissal were. He might even have had to personally visit some of the seminaries he critiques and do on-site reporting, rather than relying on the testimony of only the dissatisfied. As it is, all we have in “Goodbye! Good Men” is the story of what happened to a self-selected group of men who attended particular seminaries. It’s their stories, more often than not anonymously related. It’s their side of their stories.

      • Ron, just look at the protestantation, in addition to the dearth of priest, occurring in many of our diocese around the country. If this is not proof enough for you I don’t know what would be. Look at the vibrancy of some of the diocese Rose lists as being vibrant and Orthodox, such as Arlington, Lincoln, Peoria, Wichita, and Omaha, among others, and notice that they have not suffered a shortage of priest.

    • Fr. Karl … I don’t think any Catholic, especially a priest, should call nuns things like “femi-nazi even if you disagree with them.

      • Patricia says:

        C & H, yes it is better to call the Nuns of the:
        and Nuns on the Bus – what they truly are – schismatics and/or heretics.
        (Using the Church definitions in the CCC.)
        Accuracy is important.

      • Canisius says:

        C&H, explain why… Father is only be truthful

  4. I am grateful that there are fewer priests.

    Most of the current clergy are either very dissident or very weak.

    If our priests and bishops really believed in the Catholic Faith, they would be outspoken leaders against the Culture of Death. They would be giving sermons about sin, repentance and salvation. They would not be busy embracing Obama and the Democrats. They would not be setting up homosexual potlucks.

    • Ed…I have to smile about your mention of ” homosexual potlucks” because I belong to a Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Conversation and Potluck Group. We set it up ourselves without any help from priests. BTW, I imagine Courage chapters have potlucks from time to time. Do you object to those?

  5. St. Christopher says:

    Well, it is human nature to ignore the negative- obvious, if the “negative-obvious” is the product of your behavior and shortcomings. Vatican II has been, and will be, the death-knell of the institutional Catholic Church. Oh, there is considerable happy talk with the crazies in the Vatican and the USCCB (and even with Pope Francis who says that the Church is in great shape). Yet, churches, schools, religious orders all close with increasing regularity; the Angel of Death resolves truth, even if he is ignored. Yet, willful ignorance will not produce priests and sisters and dedicated laity. And, of course, the answer to the present illuminati is to do what? Why, simply “double-down” on the same lack of faith and general idolatry of the modern that has created the Catholic awfulness of today. Just look at who we have in the bridge of St. Peter’s barque: Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Dolan, and so many others that somehow have revived from the theological grave, Dracula-like, to terrorize the remaining faithful. Oh, they will change things and then say (because they changed things and because dopes like USA Today come out with articles like this one), “well, we need to change, because [of what we did]. Traditional orders, though, real ones, have increasing numbers of seminarians and nuns. Of course, the answer there is to attack and destroy; just ask the good priests at the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Save your money, demand orthodoxy; it is the one and only way to stop this destruction.

  6. juergensen says:

    I don’t buy into the “priest shortage” stories from the satanic media, which seeks to have the Church change its perennial teachings against “women priests”, sodomy, and abortion.

    Indeed, as even USA Today concedes in this story, there are 39,600 priests in America for 17,413 parishes. That means there is an average of 2.27 priests for every parish in America (39,600 ÷ 17,413 = 2.27). That’s not a “shortage”.

    In point of fact, the Protestant sects don’t have anywhere near 2.27 pastors for each of their churches. But we don’t see the satanic media writing stories about “pastor shortages”, do we? Why is that? Because, the Protestant sects have virtually all embraced “women pastors”, sodomy, and abortion. The satanic media likes them, you see.

    • Keep in mind that the average age of American priests is very high. Also, while urban areas may have the 2.27% you talk about, in rural areas it might be one priest curcuit riding to several parishes each Sunday. We should pray for vocations and also for ourbeloved priests!

      • Anonymous says:

        I live in the rural South. We have lots of new priests and lots of new seminarians. The only crisis comes because we are always opening new parishes so they need more priests every year. Praise God!

        • juergensen says:

          Same here. My parish has 4 priests. Every other parish within 50 miles has 2 or more. Only the distant, rural, small parishes have 1.

          We Catholics are much healthier than the Protestants, but we don’t hear about Protestant “pastor shortages” because there are no teachings to change there: virtually all Protestant sects have embraced abortion, contraception, woman pastors, woman bishops, sodomite pastors, lesbian pastors, etc.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      jurgensen, it’s pretty amazing to me how much people (like you apparently) are willing to look perfectly good, valid, and important data right in the face and say “no, it can’t be right, it must be the lamestream media”.

      You just completely ignore the fact that hundreds of parishes have been closed because there already are too few priests to keep them open. You completely ignore that parishes that were once serviced by a full set of priests AND nuns, have far fewer of them as well. You completely ignore the fact that most Catholic parishes are larger than most protestant congregations. You completely ignore the fact that most parishes have at least one public liturgy every single day, at least in a fully staffed parish, unlike most protestant congregations. You completely ignore the fact that the average priest in the US is at retirement age already.

      The priest who celebrates mass at my parish on a regular basis is 92 years old. Ninety-two.

      And the response from the right is, oh it’s not a problem, it’s just the media trying to get us to approve gay marriage. Give us, and more importantly, the priests who work so hard to fulfill their critical spiritual mission, a little more credit.

      • juergensen says:

        Self-Proclaimed Catholic,

        It’s pretty amazing to me how people (like you apparently) are willing to look at whatever the notoriously anti-Catholic media says about the Catholic Church and say, “Yes, it must be right! It’s USA Today! It’s MSDNC! It’s CNN!”

        Yes, parishes have been closed, but many new parishes have been opened, as Catholics have fled the inner cities for suburbia.

        Since you claim to like “important data”, here’s some for you: 39,600 priests ÷ 17,413 parishes = 2.27 priests per parish.

        Ah, yes, the beauty of math.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      juergensen After reading your comments, you make more sense and I feel that your point of view is more factual. Wow…good comments. I agree with you, its time not to buy into this false shortage that the media wants us to fear.

  7. Many of the rural areas that don’t have priests have married permanent deacons. Why not ordain these men to be priests to alleviate the shortage?

    • juergensen says:

      2.27 priests per American parish is not a “shortage”. It is a contrived “problem” pushed by those who want, in this order, as one follows the other: (1) married priests, (2) women priests, (3) sodomite priests, and (4) lesbian priests.

    • Carol, the liberals ,who have created this problem in the first place, would whole heartedly endorse your suggestion. 🙁

    • Augustine Thomas says:

      Why not ordain dogs? Isn’t it mean to our canine friends not to let them be priests? Aren’t we discriminating?!

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Whatever you may think about the ordination of women, women are not dogs, unless you are a mysogynist.

      • Augustine Thomas … Ordaining dogs. Hmmmmm….let’s consider it….

        Dogs are LOYAL. Priests need to be loyal to the Church, their bishop and their flock. Dogs are PROTECTIVE. AND BRAVE. As priests they would stand up for the least among us. Dogs are INTELLEGENT. Priests need to have a certain amount of smartness to lead their parish. Dogs are LOVED BY CHILDREN. They’d be great in youth ministry. Dogs are NATURAL THERAPISTs and would be wonderful at things like counseling the doubtful. Dogs are JOYFUL. Who better to preach (or bark) the good news of Jesus Christ? Finally dogs already answer Pope Francis’ call for SIMPLICITY. All they want is a collar (in this case a Roman one) a small doghouse and are content to dine on Alpo with a few table scraps thrown in from time to time.

        I think you may be on to something.

  8. good cause says:

    The priest shortage is serious. Keep in mind that it is not just “priests” who are in shorter supply, it’s also nuns, religious brothers, and even the number of Catholics that attend Mass every Sunday. All have declined steadily since the 1950s, and all of these indicators are en toto the problem, not just the issue of fewer priests. The overall decline is widespread, but is most keenly felt in Europe, South America, and the US.

    The biggest problem is Church teachings, and this is an issue that the Church is going to have to address. The rigid adherence to the birth control teaching has cost the Church tens of millions of followers in the Western countries, and the teaching on divorce and remarriage promises to be an even larger drain in the decades to come.

    Pope Francis is correct to take a hard look at the family life teachings this Fall and how, or if, the Church should enforce them. A start to halting the erosion of all things Catholic could start with His Holiness overturning the 1968 Human Vitae teaching on birth control, which in the US is opposed by roughly 80% of all Catholics, and probably 90% of those Catholics under the age of 60. Failure to address the teachings will be an indicator that the overall decline of participation in the Catholic Church on all levels, including the priesthood, will continue to worsen.

    • good cause, to the contrary, your god of contraception has not been denounced as rigidly as you claim. Why do you refuse to see that CONTRACEPTION, along with many of its destructive side effects , (such as divorce), IS the problem.

    • good cause, ask yourself this; How many priest and religious did our dear Lord intend on sending us, but his faithful blocked their entering into this world with a multitude of road blocks. (i.e. various methods of birth control/sterilization.)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Prayer To Know One’s Vocation

    Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.

    But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen

  10. I am please to stated that the Faithful Bishop quoted is my Diocese Bishop from FL.
    He is one of the good guys !
    He teaches, he leads, he has lead us in prayer – rosaries in front of abortion clinic.
    If you look on the Diocese web site under resources you will find a link to the CCC.
    Diocese also includes Ave Maria University.
    For those who prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, our Bishop helped the
    FSSP establish their own Parish and we have Latin Masses at some other Parishes throughout the Diocese.
    God Bless Bishop Dewane ! and all our Priests.

  11. Steve Phoenix says:

    Unpleasant statistics for the New Church-operatives are these: the FSSP in the last report has 244 priests and over 150 seminarians at their single seminary in Denton, NE. The average age of their members is 37.
    Now on to the hated-SSPX: recently, their outgoing US superior general stated that they have over 100 priests in the US alone, nearly 600 world-wide, and in the US alone, 43 seminarians. They are having to build a new seminary in Virginia because of the response of vocational interest. Oh-oh. They also have about 150 traditional sisters in the SSPX worldwide. Or what of the hated CMRI’s: a steady stream of vocations and ordinations, although on a smaller scale, granted. And the Franciscans of Mary Immaculate? Well, they HAD 300 members, of which a good number were priests, dispersed on 6 continents: but we know what happened to them in the current agenda and climate. We certainly dont want THOSE kind of vocations.
    So, it is a troubled sleep each night for the sisters of the New Church.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      I thought conservatives were in favor of a shrinking church, as though that itself were an indication of worthiness? Numbers of seminarians, my friends, is not an indication of faithfulness.

    • What is your point Steve?
      The FSSP is growing and outside as well as inside the USA.
      Latest numbers are: 407 Priests and 153 Seminarians.
      Australia | Belgique | Canada | Colombia | Deutschland | France | Great Britain | Italia | México | Nederland | Nigeria | Österreich | Polska | Suisse | USA

      • Ann Malley says:

        I think he’s trying to demonstrate that Catholic orthodoxy brings forth an abundance of vocations whereas what has been the normal fare for 50 years does not.

        God bless and protect the FSSP!

  12. St. Christopher says:

    “Your Fellow Catholic”: It is just amazing what you favor, and criticize. “Fr. Karl” and “jurgensen” are both correct, but that is not all. Many men do not want to be priests where they are forced to use a feminized liturgy, and be surrounded by homosexual sexualist, and feminist loving clergy and staff. “Ed” is correct, as well, we likely need to get rid of a good number priests. It was wonderful Benedict XVI that suggested that the Catholic Church, once cleansed of the “filth” that inhabit its clergy, religious and leadership, would possibly be a “smaller” but mroe pure Church. The leadership of the Church is literally committing institutional suicide by foisting religious “policies” on those that actually go to Church that are unwanted (and which are unsupportable). Of course these same leaders, unfortunately now including many at the Vatican, really want women priests, married priests and all that. The October Synod will certainly be one of likely many that will seek to change everything about the Church. In fact, homosexual sexualist may also get their wish about having some kind of “blessing,” blah, blah, blah. Time to rebuild.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      There is definitely some kind of fear mongering propaganda to get the church to change. But as we all know, we can not change dogma nor do we want too, especially if one loves the Lord and seeks to do His will. Wait till Jesus says enough is enough….then all those who dissent will have to pay for all the confusion that they have tried to shove down the church. Everything has it’s end. We just have to remain faithful and endure.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      A “feminized liturgy”. You make us giggle. “Homosexual sexualists”. Even when I honestly asked for a definition to that term, I couldn’t find one in Merriam Webster or CCD. Formative priests and other vocations turned away because of a “feminist loving clergy and staff”, someone apparently forgot to tell those seminarians that they get to replace those feminist clergy and fire those staff.

      Yes, it is time to rebuild. The Church that Christ wanted – one that was faithful to the mercy of his own Father – not a pharisaical church conjured up by those who regret the passing of the sixteenth century.

  13. Bob One says:

    I believe that it was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results. The formation of priest has to change. It is not working and has not worked for twenty years. The book that Father Karl mentioned tell only part of the reasons. It is twelve years old, and things are a bit different, but not enough. We can learn from our brethren in other faith communities. Even though they have different theology that we don’t want to adopt, they (I hate to use the term) “do church” differently and they are attracting thousands of new members every year. Not all that they do hits the nail on the head, but we could learn something from them. How is it that they can start in a store front, and ten years later have a magnificent church facility, school, etc. with thousands of people attending every weekend? They believe in Christ. They believe int he inerrant word of the Bible. They try to live the life Jesus would want them to live. I know they do not have the Real Presence, but they do a lot of other things well. They are focused on bringing people to Jesus. We don’t train our priest to do that. We don’t do the best job of making the role of the priest exciting and something to be devoutly wished. We need to make being a priest the best thing a man can do. If they can’t be a priest, then maybe they could consider being an electrical engineer for Google, not the other way around.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      wrong on so many counts. starting with your very first sentence.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Y;all can opine until the cows come home about whetther the vocations reductions are part of the media megalagopoly. Or whether Vatican Council II is binding on y’all or not, and whether it inpired more vocations, or, you can ask yourselves, “what does this moment in history ask of us, Dear Lord, and how are we to proclaim the Gospel in OUR time, not in the sixteenth centuries time, How are we to proclaim your Lordship in OUR time, right here, right now?”

      • “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15

      • Ann Malley says:

        We can proclaim it by proclaiming it, not attempting to change the meaning to say that which is sin is not and that which was virtue is not. God doesn’t change, YFC, and neither do people despite the passing of time.

      • Anonymous says:

        YFC, joy! Joy in the bright ray of Jesus Christ’s birth, love, sacrifice and resurrection that He has kept alive in and through the Catholic Church. When you love someone and they make you happy, you talk about them all the time. You talk about what they do for you and what they said to you. You talk about what you do to help them. It is easy to lose that joy when you spend a lot of time with grumblers, isn’t it?
        One of the keys is to focus on what we have been given in the Church. Pray from the heart. Visit the Blessed Sacrament often. Give yourself daily to the Lord through His Mother. Who is your patron saints? Remember them and all the saints and all the angels, especially your Guardian Angel. They will uplift you and in turn, you will uplift others. Look for saints in your parish. Be a saint. I am sure that you evangelize in lots of ways and can think of more with meditation. Think of the ways that you were brought to knowledge of the Love of the Lord and the Truth of the Gospel.
        Cardinal Wuerl has a book on the New Evangelization and here is his keynote speech from the NCEA convention.

  14. Lack of Priests go along with contraception – sins of the Parents.
    And selfishness of the Parents passed on to their Children.
    And lack of reading the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church at home.

  15. juergensen says:

    What is conveniently missing from this article (another example of misleading by the anti-Catholic media) is the very real positive correlation between orthodoxy of a diocese and the number of its seminarians. Study after study shows that the orthodox dioceses are bursting at the seams with seminarians, some with waiting lists, while heterodox dioceses have far fewer seminarians.

    The answer to increased vocations is, obviously, increased orthodoxy in the episcopacy. But that’s not what the media wants to see. It wants the Catholic Church to go the way of the Protestant sects: abortion, contraception, sodomites, lesbians, women pastors, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      I noticed that they are comparing the number to 1975 which is almost 40 years ago. Recent trends are an increase in vocations.
      Here is an article:

      • Anonymous, after reading the article you linked to, I must admit that your comments don’t seem correlate in any way with what I read. Anyway, it was an interesting read. The researchers uncovered some interesting facts, such as; Bishops who signed the letter protesting Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame or Bishops who have written in Catholic Answers, have higher ordination numbers than those Bishops who didn’t do either.

        • juergensen says:

          That’s because bishops who sign a letter protesting Notre Dame’s honoring of a baby butcher, and bishops who write for Catholic Answers, will tend to be orthodox, hence their seminaries full. It truly is not complicated. But Satan specializes in sowing confusion, hence the argument that there is a “priest shortage” that can be remedied only by married priests … then women priests … then sodomite priests … then lesbian priests … on and on.

    • Anonymous says:

      PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that 29 more parishes will be consolidated down into 13. While the changes are not a surprise for everyone, it’s still a painful reality for many Catholics across the region. “Oh it’s killing me. It’s killing me,” said RoseAnn VanSickle. VanSickle of Swarthmore is responding to news that her parish – Notre Dame de Lourdes, will merge with Our Lady of Peace in Milmonth Park. VanSickle says, in her opinion, it’s an injustice.
      “I’m actually very, very angry that they’re doing this, especially for me watching it grow from absolutely nothing to the church that I’ve been a part of all my life,” she said.

  16. A word of advice! Don’t preach about the social Gospel! It doesn’t work! Don’t use words we layfolks don’t understand! Look at who you are preaching, teaching, and talking to, if they look bored or at least not interested in your point then something is wrong!

  17. Gratias says:

    If bishops allowed more EF Latin masses there would be more vocations. If bishops allowed the teaching of Latin in the Seminary there would be more vocations. Previously, the priest was the most educated person in town. We need to bring that respectable distinction back and Latin seems a good way forward.

    My parish in Los Angeles has six weak OF masses every weekend. One could start by reducing the number of masses.

    • Patricia says:

      For the Priests to be more educated than the Laity in matters of Faith and Morals,
      then ALL (not some) seminaries need to use the CCC as one required text.

      The same is true of novices studying to become Nuns.

      • Bob One says:

        Patricia, I would agree that seminarians should understand and believe what is in the Catechism, but their education in the faith cannot be limited to that one book. It is a reference book, to be used as a guide. It is a bit like our old seventh grade grammar books. It taught us all the rules of the English language, but it didn’t teach us English. That was learned through good literature, different types of writing, the study of ideas, etc. Our biology texts taught us about science, but it wasn’t until we got into the labs that we really saw and understood. I would urge anyone one interested int he education/formation of priests to go to the seminary web sites and take a look at the curriculum that is offered. In those that I have reviewed, the Catechism is a good reference/starting point for most of the courses.

  18. Father Karl says:

    C.H., I have personally worked with nuns, who are femi-nazis. I have also worked with nuns who are living saints. The liberal ones WANT to be priests, and detest men in general. I was asked to say grace in Latin at a dinner; the nun then wanted to say grace, so she said ‘gumba zumba tootoo cookoo.’. The host said, ‘What was that?’, and the nun answered, ‘I did not understand what the priest said, so I made up some words myself!’. Also, my vestments were tampered with, as well as the host on the paten was changed to a cracker (lucky for me, I checked it out before Mass). So, I back up my words, C.H.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Thank you for the illustration of what you’ve endured, Father, and for enduring it manfully for love of Christ.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Father Karl, with all due respect, it is highly doubtful that you ever worked with a single nun who wanted to send even one Jew to a death camp, let alone 6 million others, plus 5 million random folks who included gypsies, gays, and others.

      So please, stop with the Nazi comparisons. It is unbelievably insulting to good women who serve God and his Church.

      • Ah, Uriah Heep, so very ‘umble, begins his incredibly disrespectful and outrageously nasty little post with…’Father Karl, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT”. What a hypocrite. What a deliberately hateful thing to say to anyone, let alone a priest. Don’t you have a little family owned bakery to sue or a struggling little florist shope to run out of business, YFC? Surely we’re taking up your valuable time when there are so many ‘mean-spirited, hateful Christians’ to harass and humilate?

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Get off your high clericalist horse, Dana. If anyone calls a hardworking Nun a Nazi, I consider it my duty to correct them. Father Karl calling nuns Nazis was the hateful comment in this dialgue, Dana, not what I said. Don’t lecture me about harassing and humiliating anyone.

          • What concerns me here, YFC, is not you personally, but that we always end up bickering here when we should be discussing how to meet the challenges that face our beloved Church. We should be sharing mutual problems and being supports and listeners to what we encounter in the world. Instead, we do is get this constant barrage of heel nipping and yapping and everyone starts playing yours, C&H and others little game which leads to animosity and contention and eventually NOWHERE! I know I’m wasting my time explaining all this but perhaps a miracle will happen and you’ll see that we’re all called to Catholics first…not ‘gay’ Catholics. We’re called to be obedient and yes, loving, but loving doesn’t mean being tolerant, as was so beautifully explained in the “God Within” post. And yes, there are women who call themselves nuns, who by their actions and beliefs have left the Church and her traditions and teaching long ago.

          • Ann Malley says:

            It would seem you are the one with the clericalist bent, YFC, if you automatically believe ‘hardworking’ nuns who actively strive against the Church and their Divine Spouse, deserve your chivalric attentions. Satan works hard, too, but we don’t give him kudos for being a beloved angel anymore.

            But these poor sisters are much like those who sit in the pews and call themselves ‘Fellow Catholics’ while seeking all the while to undermine and grow their little army of militant ants to overthrow the foundation of the Church they say they love.

            So if the Nazi reference is so repellent, you may want to suggest giving up the the militant lock-step.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            YFC Dana and Ann M have been very charitable to you. Enough is enough. Stop bashing them!

        • Nomenclature says:

          The only disrespectful and outrageously nasty post I see here is your own.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            OK Troll Nomenclature, you want to defend YFC, a person who creates websites that bash people of faith..you certainty don’t have a good sense to acknowledge who really is the disrespectful one. Good luck in life!

    • Fr. Karl … I’m sorry. I don’t understand. I’ve been to two Novis Ordo masses in Europe where communion was kneeling in the center aisle and on the toung only. Isn’t the host taken from the ciborium (sp???) by tne priest and the paten is the device the alter server holds under your chin to prevent bits of the Body of Christ from falling i on the floor. If this is the case, how did a whole host .. or in this case a cracker …, get on the paten before mass. Am I wrong about the terminology of the vessels?

      • C & H, the priest indeed places the main host on a round paten (without a handle). He said he noticed the change before beginning Mass.

  19. John Korzekwinski says:

    Get dioceses to call in FSSP or ICK Priests…those orders are overflowing with vocations. Oh, that’s right, they are Tradional Catholic. Most of the VII Bishops don’t want these men in their dioceses. Much of the true Catholic Faith taught by those orders would be contrary to the often false Catholicism being endorsed by these weak shepherds. Such Truth would not be easily accepted by many of the “faithful”, making the possible loss of money detrimental to the easy life in million dollar mansions along with the lavish wining and dining.

  20. Edward Kristy says:

    Many years ago I read “Goodbye Good Men” and I can assure you the author had his facts right on – contrary to the comments by Ron. I also fully agree with the comments of Fr. Karl. I number of years ago I had two sons in local seminaries and had to move them two and three times into different seminaries in order to try to preserve their Catholicity.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Edward I hear you. My heart goes out to you and your sons. I wish our Pope would read these comments, so His excellency can see the reality of things. Well we must not lost hope but continue in prayer. Fixing our eye’s on Jesus.

  21. Gary Peterson says:

    I was considering becoming a priest, but when the priest came out of the closet during Mass at my Catholic high school, my vocation evaporated. I also, in that moment, just had the reason for the priest shortage manifest itself it front of me. Too bad more of the mindless dummies in the pews still, to this day, can’t figure out why there is obviously a priest shortage…

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      I guess either you never had a vocation to begin with your you decided to ignore the call of the Holy Spirit.

    • From what I’ve read the number of priests is increasing, Gary. Please don’t let a human being come between what is your vocation or belief…did Jesus change in anyway? Did the Church change her teaching? Humans will always let you down, but Jesus, never! If you feel called , it is between you and God, isn’t it? If you don’t like your priest, pray for him. We’re all pretty puny and helpless, but with God, all things are possible. The Church is our greatest strength and ally against evil…the Bride of Christ. What a privilege to be a priest! What an honor!

      • Anonymous says:

        Dana, have you ever heard of Bagdad Bob? That’s you!

        • I’m sure it wouldn’t redound to my credit,anon.so I won’t ask who bob might be …especially from someone who hides behind anonymity! Also, I’m not saying all priests are honorable.But the vocation itself is and the majority of priests are.
          Sponge Bob, that’s you,eh?

    • Ann Malley says:

      That was likely just the devil seeking to deny the Church of a solid priest, Gary. It is very often the sign of a true and fruitful vocation when obstacles are so obviously tossed in our way. Especially the truly repellent ones. God bless you and Our Lady assist you in continued discernment!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        I agree with Ann and Dana. They pretty much summed it up. Lets pray for Gary. The evil one does trick on us often and since its forces are so evil, its hard for us to not feel intimated. Like I said before, it is in these horrid times that we are currently living that saints are made. Our Lord is very gentle and will not force Himself upon anyone so if you felt a calling, it was gentle but due to the evil ones tricks sometimes we are not strong enough to understand or hear His calling, sometimes our pride and sins usually get in the way.

        Its not easy being human, why do you think we have lent, the sacraments etc we need them to work out and apply virtues, to give us a spiritual workout, to help us discern what is truly from our Lord. Remember we must stay alert because the enemy never sleeps.

    • Gary … If you think of the faithful as “mindless dummies” it may be that the Holy Spirit was leading you to another vocation.

      • Ann Malley says:

        We’re called sheep in the Bible, C&H, not the most thinking creatures, but rather those that are easily led and often picked off by wolves. Being called to the priesthood isn’t necessarily a call to being politically correct or appeasing egos.

    • WARNING: YFC is a self identified homosexual, living in a homosexual relationship, who continues to receive communion and who has assured all of us that he has received the promise heaven. His comments on this site are aimed to lead others into grave error.

  22. Michael McDermott says:
  23. Next week I will attend the very first mass of a newly ordained priest. I’ve met the young man and I’m sure he’ll be a fine priest. I’m so excited. Our pastor reminded us to pray for not only priestly vocations but also for sisters and brothers.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      C&H God’s graces be with you as you are there witnessing a beautiful sacrament.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Make sure you ask for his blessing, C&H. I pray God bless this young man for his courage and fidelity in answering the call!

    • Anonymous says:

      A plenary indulgence is granted to a priest on the occasion of the first Mass he celebrates with some solemnity and to the faithful who devoutly assist at the same Mass.

  24. Patrick says:

    It all stems from the fruits of Vatican 2 and its unleashed aftermath. It is not a coincidence that the two events are parallel. It was all a grand design to unravel the Roman Catholic Church cleverly disguised bit-by-bit over the course of years. Pray for the restoration of the true faith!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Patrick you are saying things that don’t make sense! “Pray for the restoration of the true faith!” Really? Our Lord promised to be with us till the end times! If you believe that than no one has destroyed His church, His truths live on! They don’t need to be restored because they never left or were destroyed. What needs to happen is that we need to pray that people return to God, it is the people who need the “restoration” . Who better to restore them is Christ and His blood!

      Remember there is a thing called free will! So please, those comments you just made are fear mongering and also to not help you look good in the way you view things. Also your comments “It was all a grand design to unravel the Roman Catholic Church cleverly disguised bit-by-bit over the course of years.” I understand that there is trouble amongst us, for that is why you feel so helpless enough to say those things.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Patrick continued:
        Do you hear yourself? If you are one who studies up on the past saints, they too were going through moments where one didn’t recognize the faith, but the faith still lived on back then and it still does today. Do not fret. So the modern day saints and lay faithful don’t mean a thing to you? That is what you are expressing through your comments. If you have that mentality you will miss the opportunity to see saints in action. God will use even those whom you may not agree with their style to spread His truths. It should open hearts for them to be open to seek the truth. Lets not despair here. We must trust in our ever so merciful God.

        Today more than ever is when real saints are made, it is when we are facing strong crises is when we ought to be stronger in our faith. How do you think St. Patrick, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, St. Augustine came to be? Not because the church was all fun and dandy, it was when it seemed in trouble and it was then that God shed His mercy and helped us have hope and faith, In Christ, through His saints!

        So Patrick stay in the church and be a saint! And that invitation applies to us all. In Humility we pray.

    • Not true. There is nothing in the Vatican II Documents that state many of the changes that took place after Vatican II in the USA.
      Many of these changes were perpetrated upon us by Cardinal Bernardin and his cronies at the US Bishop’s Conference.
      1) Vatican II never said Communion should be in the hand.
      (This was a special indult asked for by the US Bishops).
      2) Vatican II never said Communion rails and kneeling should stop (in violation of Philippians 2:10.)
      (This was perpetrated by the US Bishops Conference.)
      3) Vatican II never said that there should be Altar Girls, or Eucharistic Ministers at Mass. (You never see this at the Vatican Masses on TV.)
      Etc., etc,
      US Bishops from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s – have done this to us.
      Put the BLAME where it belongs.

      Here are all the Documents of Vatican II

      Cardinal Arinze on kneeling, altar rails.


      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thank you PETE! There are so many spreading rumors and lies. Its is disturbing. So you said that right. Praise God that someone says the truth. God bless you for being faithful.

  25. Dave N. says:

    Actually, enrollment in Catholic seminaries isn’t flat–it’s in decline: http://www.ats.edu/resources/institutional-data/annual-data-tables

    Plus, remember that a lot of lay people (including lay women) are enrolled in M.Div. programs in Catholic seminaries and will never be ordained.

  26. The cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/requestedchurchstats.html website goes back to 1965. I am old enough to know that thousands of priests and other religious left their religious vocations, so although CARA’s numbers appear steady between 1965 and 1978, I am not convinced of it. I know two former parish priests that picked up and left on account of Vatican 2 changes. A sad note is the large number of the remaining priests are in their 60’s from what I can determine from this article. If you think the state of the church in the US and the world is bad now, just wait 5 years from now! We can’t expect with the lack of proper formation of young boys and men, that the numbers of seminarians and priests are going to get any better, rather with the continual loss in the faithful, the number of priests can be expected to continue to decline. When will your parish consolidate with others or just fade away? When you need the last rites, will you be assured that you will receive them? It is frightening isn’t it? You are correct Patrick, these are the spoiled fruits of V2, most of which happened during the reign of John-Paul II.

  27. Asbury Fox says:

    The priest shortage is very serious, and along with many of the reasons given by some of the commenters, there is another problem that has led to this crisis, and that is sexual impurity. Pornography, fornication, and all kinds of sexual impurity, has destroyed vocations and the young men who had them. The sexual immorality of the young is one of the major, if not the biggest reason for the vocation crisis.

  28. Father Karl says:

    Concerning the reply that no nuns ever sent Jewish people to their deaths, Yes, the radical nuns never killed anyone, but they ARE responsible for the spiritual deaths of so many souls. By teaching falsehoods, and leading disobedient lives, the red hot nuns have inflected terrific damage to Holy Mother Church.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Thank you for further clarifying and educating, Father Karl. I think part of the problem here is that many do not understand or accept what a nun is actually called to be. Many equate nuns to little more than religious social workers, forgetting completely that they are called to be the mother of souls, sacrificing and mortifying themselves in union with their Divine Spouse in order to bring forth an increase in the mystical body.

      That said, the Nazis were are least open about who and what they were about. Nuns who actively work against Our Lord and Holy Mother Church are like mothers who want the honor of being called mother while poisoning the fruit of their union or sending said fruit over to the enemy to be destroyed.

    • Bob One says:

      Fr. Karl, you may be right, but how are we to know if you don’t spell out specific things the nuns have taught that are against Church teaching. Let’s not include the few hundred that want to be priests, etc. What have the thousands done that was wrong? In the U.S., they kept the church going for years. Without them the schools would have closed much earlier. Were they all teaching heresy? How about a list of the ten most bad things they taught us or are continuing to teach us?

      • Bob One, just look at what the LCWR, Network, and ‘Nuns on the Bus’ promote. (Yes, they are all the same people with different group names.)
        Their web sites speak for themselves.
        The latest is promoting New Age Religion. These organizations of Nuns have promoted contraception, putting people before God, putting the earth before God, and even abortion and supporting pro-abortion politicians, women priests, and homosexual acts.
        Network supported Obama and Obamacare which violate freedom of Religion.

        Politics is for the Laity, not the role of Clergy or Nuns. CCC 898.

        There are good Orders of Nuns today, and they are growing, and refusing to be members of the named groups.
        But the bad still do exist.

  29. the gay problem says:

    oh. ok. problem solved then. have at it.

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